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About Us

Learn more about us below!

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 Our Program

Gompers Grows is a non-profit organization that educates children about food systems, the environment, and horticulture. The organization is composed of three main groups: Farmer-Community Advisory Board, Teacher Advisory Board, and Gompers Grows Program Staff. Gompers Grows is located at Gompers Elementary School on the Northside of Madison.

The enrichment activities are conducted in all classrooms grades 1-5 starting in late winter each year. Students explore the fundamentals of food systems by learning about topics such as historical local soil creation, decomposition, seed starting, phrenology, planting planning, food supply issues, food justice, community and food, food and labor, and community nutrition.

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Location

Gompers Elementary school is located in Madison, Wisconsin and is a part of the Madison Metropolitan School District. Gompers Elementary school is located need Cherokee Marsh and Troy Gardens, which provide local opportunities for observing landscape and agriculture. 

Gompers Elementary School is located in the Northside of Madison, where there has been a long history of community involvement in the food system. Many community members were employed by the Oscar Meyers plant which operated for 96 years in the community. Still to this day, the Northside Planning Committee prioritizes organizes people around food. Gompers Grows is a part of this long legacy of community organizing around food.  

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Farmer-Community Advisory Board

We design and evaluate the Gompers Grows program in partnership with farmers and community members. We meet with Farmer-Community Advisory Board quarterly to discuss program goals, methods for evaluation, and activities for the next quarter. 

We know bringing more people to the table will help Gompers Grows create better curriculum and support our resilient community food system. 

Contact us at GompersGrows@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the Farmer-Community Advisory Board!

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Teacher-Staff Advisory Board

Teachers and staff are experts at knowing what curriculum and teaching techniques work best with their students. At Gompers Grows, we work with teachers to ensure that the curriculum meets up-to-date learning standards and district priorities. 

We not only value the knowledge and experience of teachers and staff members at Gompers Grows, we integrate them into our planning and evaluation process. 

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Get to Know the Classroom Team

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Brian Emerson, 

Horticulture Educator

Brian started the Gompers Grows project as a way to share the transformative experience of gardening and growing. He currently works for the University of Wisconsin in the Urban and Regional Food Systems Program and as an assistant educational manager for ROOTED. In his free time he manages a small urban farm called  EMERSON URBAN PRODUCE.

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Ms. Thi,

Activity Coordinator

Thi graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in Horticulture and Environmental Studies. She is a former President of the Horticulture Society at UW-Madison and a former Student Director of Horticulture and Community at Allen Centennial Gardens. Thi has been involved with the Gompers Grows project since 2017 as the Lead Horticulture Student Teacher.

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Mrs. Livingston,

Evaluation Specialist

Laura Livingston is a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Environment and Resources Program. Laura works with farmers and students to evaluate agricultural education programs.

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Sponsors

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Partnerships

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